Five-star quality rating system

Study finds that SNFs who score well on quality measures does not prevent deaths or readmissions

A skilled nursing facility that scores well on quality measures is not necessarily reducing residents’ risk of death or readmission within 30 days of arriving from a hospital, according to a study published in the American Medical Association journal JAMA.

The investigation determined that with SNFs that score well on facility inspections ratings, Medicare beneficiaries do have a “slightly lower” risk of hospital readmission or death within 30 days of arrival. However, other quality measures were not associated in clinically meaningful ways with reduced risk.

In addition to facility inspections ratings, the investigators considered staffing ratings and the percentage of residents with delirium, moderate to severe pain, and new or worsening pressure ulcers. They adjusted for factors such as facility characteristics of the SNF and the discharging hospital.

The study analyzed Medicare data and publicly available quality metrics for individual SNFs. Among more than 1.5 million beneficiaries discharged to a SNF between 2009 and 2010, the overall rate of readmission or death within 30 days was about 23%.